Thorntons’ profits melt but sales holding steady

RETAILER Thorntons’ full-year profit fell 79 per cent but topped analysts’ expectations as sales held steady amid weak consumer demand.

Thorntons has been struggling with lower demand as consumers have been reluctant to loosen their purse strings in the face of rising prices, subdued wage growth and high unemployment.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The company has been closing its high street stores and focusing more on its online business. Thorntons said online sales increased 9.8 per cent.

The company, founded by Joseph William Thornton in 1911, cancelled its final dividend and said revenue and margins during the year were hit as consumers shifted to lower priced items.

Pre-tax profit, excluding exceptional items of £3.1m, for the 53 weeks ended June 30 fell to £0.9m from £4.3m a year earlier. Revenue fell 0.5 per cent to £217.1m.